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Johnson shares lead as McIlroy five-putts at Pebble Beach

10 February, 2018, 06:39 | Author: Rachael Silva
  • Bill Murray pretends to kick a media member during the 3M Celebrity Challenge on Wednesday Feb. 7 2018 at the Pebble Beach Golf Links in Carmel Calif

Playing at Spyglass Hill, McIlroy, 28, carded six birdies and two bogeys as his round left him four adrift of Kevin Streelman and Beau Hossler.

"He sees a light pole out there and he just hits it at the light pole, and he normally hits the light pole", Spieth said Wednesday.

Johnson opened the year with an eight-shot victory at Kapalua and a tie for ninth in Abu Dhabi.

Five-time major-winner Phil Mickelson, a four-time victor in the tournament that teams amateurs from the world of big business, sports and celebrity with the pros, put himself in the mix for the weekend with a bogey-free 65 at Monterey Peninsula that left him tied for fifth on nine-under par.

"If anything, they were just two good confidence builders going into this part of the season and now that I'm over here in the States I've got six weeks out of the next seven to try and play well and give myself chances to win", he said.


"It's a tournament that I've always watched and I've always thought one day it would be really cool to play with my dad, and fortunately we were able to get him in and play", McIlroy said.

He hit nine of 13 fairways and 15 of 18 greens in regulation but said he expected a tougher challenge when he plays the par-72 Pebble Beach Golf Links on Saturday.

One former world number one offered rare praise to another on Wednesday as Jason Day said Rory McIlroy had "Tiger-esque" skills on the golf course.

The Monterey Peninsula has been a good hunting ground for Johnson with two wins (2009 & 2010) and a runner-up (2013) finish as well as a third place previous year. At -7, Hossler is two strokes clear of current World No.1 Dustin Johnson and three strokes clear of top players such as Jon Rahm and Rory McIlroy.

After nearly driving the green, the Northern Irishman used his putter from the fringe and stroked the ball to within six feet of the cup, from where he took four putts and probably ended his hopes in the tournament in a matter of seconds. But he needed four more putts from there, recording a double-bogey on the hole. "They were two good confidence builders going into this part of the season", the four-time Major victor added.

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